Guide to Venice Restaurants & Food

Venice has limited examples of what most people would consider to be "real" Italian food.  Yes, you can easily find spaghetti and pizza, but forget about chicken parmigiana, veal parmigiana, ravioli, and some of the "Italian" dishes you enjoy at your local restaurant.  Even the pizza is limited -- pepperoni pizza doesn't exist here, so you'll most likely have to settle for Margherite pizza, which is tomato sauce topped with cheese and sliced tomatoes.  The rest of the Venetian food is northern Italian -- i.e., dishes with a continental flair, and without the meat sauces to which we're accustomed.  For an emergency fix of McDonald's food, stand just in front St. Mark's Basilica looking at the front door, then turn left and walk to the second street and turn right.  You'll see the golden arches on a waist high sign on the left side of the street. 

The real star of the Venice food scene, in our opinion, is the gelato, the creamy Italian ice cream made with fresh fruit.  Gelato shops are everywhere, and from our samplings, all of them appear to be excellent. 

Sandwiches -- you'll see ham and cheese subs or grinders stacked up in glass showcases in small restaurants all over the city.  Unfortunately, these showcases are not refrigerated, and you should carefully consider whether or not you want to try these. 

Grocery stores -- Venice is a small city, and the inhabitants don't want to hop on a boat to the mainland when they need to go grocery shopping.  There are a number of small neighborhood grocery stores in Venice, even within several blocks of St. Mark's Square.  There you can find very good prices on soft drinks, wine, cheeses, crackers, chocolates, etc.   You can lay away a stash for the evenings, or fashion your own picnic.  And, you'll pay what the locals pay.




Use the tour company we used for our Venice trip --
Book ahead to save time and money!








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